It is spring at last. Well, winter wasn’t so bad this time with many days in the 50s and 60s. A fact is I went out for a hike as many weekends as in Fall. Winter was bad in a sense because we lost a dear friend. But life moves on. You go through ups and downs – no one is exempt from that. Some of the ups and some of the downs are totally yours to make. There are times when you will never know if you are on the right track when adrenaline is flowing. You make decisions that you think is right but in hindsight it might not be. The key thing is to build checkpoints along the way if your aren’t sure. Your best bet is to surround yourself with as many well wishers as possible. There are no better well wishers than your family. Talk to them often and get them involved.
Washington DC is totally different during spring time. It is a burst of white and pink with those thousands of cherry blossoms. It is a beautiful walk on the banks of the Potomac river. We get so much carried away with life that we don’t explore what is around just near by; well that doesn’t hopefully happen until it is too late. It has been the case with me. Being in the area for about 16 years I had heard about the Cherry Blossom festival all the time but never made an effort to go visit. This year it happened at last. I am glad we did. The drive from Philly suburb to DC was pleasant on a beautiful Saturday morning, but it did appear longer than recent drives. Maybe it was because we started late and it was well past 1:30 PM when we had our first stop. It was at the Shiva-Vishnu temple. This is a nice established temple. It was crowded on that day as it was a festive day. We finished pooja and settled down for lunch at the cafeteria. Best part of many of these Indian temples is the food offered at very reasonable prices. Many temples I have been to offer better food than the restaurants in the area so it makes no sense to eat restaurant food.
Our next stop was Hains Point along the Potomac. The roads were very crowded with weekend travellers and it took more than half hour to get off the expressway to get onto park’s roadway. Finding parking was a huge problem. I wanted to park 2 miles before the park just so that we don’t run out of parking. Like always, my wife wanted me to be more patient. We got closer and closer to the park and lo and behold, there was plenty of parking. We just had to be patient – she was right, always for course! We strolled down the river bank for about 45 minutes and took a lot of pictures. There was an afternoon wedding going on and many tourists were snapping pictures. I was glad to help one family like I always like to.The cherry blossoms were just dominating the eyesight and it was a pure pleasure. Three miles of walking sort of made up for all the day’s driving.
We checked into our hotel near the Army-Navy yard and the afternoon had turned out to be bright and sunny. I have been to the area many times and also to the nearby Ashburn, VA. There were a few good Indian restaurants that I would frequent on a project couple of years ago. We decided to visit Charminar. The decor is pretty good and the lunch buffets there were always good with a variety of food items and the prices being very reasonable. Our dinner though was okay. The dosa was below expectations with the crepe being very thin – most Indian restaurants just don’t know how to make good dosa; all they focus on is the look of it. We ended up dinner with chaat and gobi manchurian. He was out of double ka meeta which is a Andhra favorite. So we skipped deserts as well. Well, for a 45 minute drive, the dinner didn’t turn out to be anything exciting. Next time, better place maybe!
Next day, we were at a dilemma where to go. It was past 10 AM when we started. We decided to drive to the Capitol. It turned out to be a slow time with a lot of weekend travellers hogging the roads. Making a turn was a five-minute effort. We couldn’t find parking however patient we were. We decided to skip the stop and head to the Washington National Church. It is the sixth largest church in the world and was just glorious. It was also Easter Sunday which made the visit special. I remember we had been to the Mormon church in Mesa, Arizona on Christmas eve a couple of years back. We listened to the service for sometime and the thundering organs amidst the splendor of the hall. For lunch we headed back to the temple. An hour’s stop and we were heading back home after a great weekend.